Students

CONNECTING STUDENTS

Whether you are already enrolled in the EAP program or a UW graduate student interested in joining our community, you can get involved in EAP by participating in a social event. EAP students come from a variety of home departments spread across campus. Building an academic and social cohort is important for linking students and faculty. The EAP student representatives organize 3-4 activities each semester, including lectures, viewing and discussing energy-related films, and debates on energy issues.

See what events are planned on our Events page.

EAP Students (from left to right) Javier Martinez-Santos, Dorothy Lsoto, Eri Amezcua Cuellar & EAP alumna Megan Zielke

STUDENT PROFILES

Read below to meet some of our EAP students. Contact us if you’re a student interested in creating your own energy profile.

Eri Amezcua Cuellar

Credentials: EAP Student Representative 2019-20

Eri R. Amezcua is a Mechanical Engineering PhD Student at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Eri is part of the Wisconsin Engine Research Center, and he is an ARL CUP Fellow. For his undergraduate career, Eri attended the University of Texas Tech earning the degrees of B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Petroleum Engineering. He earned his M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering in the spring of 2019 at University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Matilyn Bindl

Matilyn Bindl is an MS student in the Nelson Institute’s Environment and Resources program, where she is excited to pursue her PhD in energy and climate policy under the guidance of Dr. Morgan Edwards of the La Follette School of Public Affairs. Matilyn graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2019 with her BS in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. During her undergraduate and post-baccalaureate career, she worked as a research assistant to Dr. Tracey Holloway at the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE), where she explored solutions regarding air quality, climate, and public health. Matilyn also serves as the Program Coordinator for Science-A-Thon, an annual social media event that increases the visibility of science and creates opportunities for women and minorities in STEM.

Mikhaila Calice

Mikhaila Calice is a Mikhaila Calice is a doctoral student in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests include risk, political communication, and public deliberation, specifically regarding topics and technologies related to U.S. energy policy. Mikhaila earned her MPA from the La Follette School of Public Affairs where she concentrated in Energy Analysis and Policy through the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. With this energy policy background, Mikhaila is particularly interested in how controversial science issues related to climate change and the energy transition are communicated to the public and policy-makers to explore collaborative approaches to policy making. Mikhaila also does work as a Research Analyst for Slipstream, Inc., an energy efficiency research nonprofit, where she analyzes energy efficiency programs, energy usage trends, electricity pricing, emerging energy technology, and other topics relevant to energy policy.

Ted Callon

Ted is a MS student in the Agricultural and Applied Economics program. He is interested in whether and how food systems can be improved to combat global warming, health inequalities, and social inequalities, with a particular interest in local food systems. Ted joined the EAP program out of a strong desire to better understand the lifecycle of energy and he hopes that this better understanding will benefit his research as he explores the sustainability of the food system in the United States.

Daritza De Los Santos

Daritza is a PhD student in the Environment and Resources program at the Nelson Institute. She is interested in air quality, climate change, and health equity. Daritza hopes to help communities who are disproportionately impacted by air pollution and climate change.

Ciaran Gallagher

Ciaran Gallagher is a MS student in the Nelson Institute’s Environment and Resources program. Her thesis investigates the air quality co-benefits of decarbonizing energy and transportation systems along with its environmental justice implications. Due to previous work experience at local and state governments, Ciaran is interested in contributing to data-driven governance in pursuit of climate change mitigation. She graduated from Wellesley College in 2017 with a degree in Environmental Chemistry. Ciaran is the 2020-2021 George Bunn Distinguished Graduate Fellow.

Gesangyangji

Gesangyangji is a Ph.D. student in the Nelson Institute’s Environment & Resources program. She is working for Prof. Holloway and is a member of Holloway Group at SAGE. She is skilled in applying advanced atmospheric data in environment and energy fields. Currently, she is studying the impacts of climate change on design of building specifications.

Jenna Greene

Jenna Greene is a MPA/EAP student at the La Follette School studying public affairs. She also works as a project assistant with Prof. Nemet on topics related to climate and energy policies. Jenna graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, MN, after which she spent time in Omaha, NE working in community engagement and Minneapolis, MN working with cities and counties on local-level solar policies and climate action planning. Jenna is particularly interested in the links between climate and energy policies with housing, transportation, and labor policies to alleviate societal disparities.

Sam Hartke

Sam Hartke is a Ph.D. student in Water Resources Engineering. As a research assistant, she explores how global rainfall data from satellites is used in flood, landslide, and other natural hazard models and how characterizing the errors in remotely-sensed rainfall data can improve model accuracy. Her interests include data science, climate change adaption, and the food-energy-water nexus.

Joe Hayes

Joe Hayes is a graduate student pursuing a Master’s in Geoscience, where he plans on studying paleoceanography, sedimentology, and stratigraphy in the Manitoba Escarpment region of North Dakota. After graduating from UW–Madison in 2019 with degrees in Geoscience and Economics, he then moved to South Carolina where he was a hydrogeologist regulating and cleaning gasoline contaminated sites. Joe is excited to join the EAP program due to the interdisciplinary nature of energy and his previous experiences in the energy realm.

Henry Hundt

Henry is an MPA student at the La Follette School of Public Affairs. Prior to graduate school, Henry helped lead energy conservation programing for public facilities in Alaska while working at the Renewable Energy Alaska Project. Since moving to Wisconsin, Henry completed a year long study through the Office of Energy Innovation looking at the feasibility of economically transitioning the state’s public schools to zero net energy. Additionally, Henry has worked as an energy modeler helping organizations track their carbon, energy usage, renewable energy system production and measuring facilities efficiency.

Sunjoo Hwang

Sunjoo Hwang is a MPA student at La Follette School of Public Affairs. After earning a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she has worked as a greenhouse gas emission data analyst for a global automotive company. In this capacity, she analyzed energy consumption and emissions from manufacturing plants across Asia Pacific, Africa, and Europe, and she also conducted research on energy reduction strategies. In addition to her professional responsibility, Sunjoo has keen interest in air pollution policy as particulate matter issues have been grave across Northeast Asia. Sunjoo is a recipient of the EAP International Student Scholarship.

Clara Jackson

Clara is an M.S. student in the Nelson Institute Environment and Resources program. As an undergraduate research assistant, as well as a post-B.S. research intern, she worked with Dr. Tracey Holloway at the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE). She will continue to work as a graduate research assistant in the Holloway Group at SAGE and is excited to continue to explore the relationships between health, air quality, and energy.

William Keenan

William is a graduate student pursuing his Master’s degree in Public Affairs with a certificate in Energy Analysis and Policy. His main interest is renewable energy policy. He looks forward to working with both the Nelson Institute and the La Follette School to analyze and identify potential renewable energy growth, and policy, in the future. William graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Policy and Environmental Studies certificates.

Anke Keuser

Anke is a Ph.D. student in the Nelson Institute Environment and Resources program. She is working with Paul Block, with main interests lying in water allocation and hydropower. Anke is a recipient of the EAP International Student Award.

Unni Kurumbail

Unni is a first-year graduate student in the Chemical & Biological Engineering department at UW-Madison. After graduating with a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Rochester in 2018, he spent 18 months as a systems engineer outside of Boston, designing and installing control systems in the pharmaceutical industry. He has joined the EAP program out of a strong interest in combining his technical interests with a deeper understanding of the policy and economic considerations that make technological progress possible. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, exploring his local community, and sitting down for a discussion with anyone on politics.

Nathan Kwan

Nathan Kwan is a graduate student pursuing a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Since his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering degree at the University of Texas at Austin, he has worked as a process engineer in the oil and gas industry, as well as an environmental consultant in the power generation industry. More recently, he has advised private equity clients on integrating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into the investment lifecycle. Following his time at UW-Madison, Nathan hopes to support the design and operation of energy systems that are needed to address the sustainability challenges that society faces.

Jiayu Liu

Jiayu is a graduate student pursuing her Master’s in Agricultural and Applied Economics. Her main interest is renewable energy. She looks forward to working for analyzing opportunities for renewable energy growth in the future. Jiayu is a recipient of the EAP  International Student Scholarship.

Dorothy Lsoto

Dorothy Lsoto is a graduate student pursuing her Ph.D. in Environment and Resources at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Prior to graduate school, Dorothy has been working in East Africa, Uganda on several renewable energy research projects like solar, biomass and biogas. She has also done a lot of work with air quality in institutions and schools using biogas versus firewood for cooking. She loves working with communities and introducing them to clean energies. Her main interests are renewable energy; currently she works with Prof. Jonathan Patz. Dorothy is a recipient of the EAP International Student Award.

Javier J. Martínez-Santos

Javier J. Martínez-Santos is a research assistant completing his PhD in Mechanical Engineering as part of The Holloway Group from the Center of Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) at the Nelson Institute. He is also completing a minor in Environment & Resources, and a graduate certificate with the DELTA program. His research project focuses on the computer modeling of the nitrogen dioxide diurnal cycle over U.S. cities. Javier has a particular interest on the impact of urban emissions, meteorology, and chemistry to this air pollutant. He completed his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with honors from the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez and has gained industry and research experience in the energy, oil & gas, and aerospace sectors.

Katie Mummah

Katie is a graduate student in Nuclear Engineering & Engineering Physics and her research focuses on modeling the nuclear fuel cycle for nuclear nonproliferation. In her spare time, Katie is active in teaching nuclear science concepts to the general public.

Nishanth

Nishanth is a PhD student at the Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, specializing broadly in the domain of Electrical Power and Energy. His research at WEMPEC involves development of power electronics and electro-mechanical drive systems. Prior to Joining UW Madison, he was involved with the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras working on Fuel Cell Inverters & Motor Drives with Prof. Krishna Vasudevan’s group. His undergraduate major project, “Unipolar SPWM based Reactive Power Compensator” was funded and recognized as the best project of the year 2015 by Karnataka State Council for Science & Technology – Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. His interests span Power Electronics, Control & Drive design, Smart Grids, Data Analysis and application of Internet of Things to power systems.

Ian Prado

Ian is a first-year graduate student in Nuclear Engineering & Engineering Physics. He grew up in Alabama, where he received his undergraduate degree in physics. His research interests are in materials for nuclear energy systems. In his free time, he enjoys juggling and weightlifting.

Muhammad Shayan

Along with a Certificate in Energy Analysis and Policy, Shayan is pursuing a Masters in Public Affairs at the La Follette School. Prior to graduate school, he worked as an Assistant Program Manager at a non-profit that aimed to uplift underprivileged communities in Pakistan. He also founded, and presently coordinates the Aitzaz Hasan Scholarship which provides financial and academic support to poor children to continue their education. Post his graduation as mechanical engineer, Shayan worked on the operations team of a 225 MW combined cycle powerplant of Engro Corporation, Pakistan’s largest business conglomerate. He remains committed to the developing world, and is keen to leverage his past experiences and knowledge to learn via the EAP program the impacts of climate change on the most vulnerable communities and how new technologies such as off-grid solar power could empower those communities.

Samuel Springate

Samuel Springate is an MS student in the Mechanical Engineering Department. As a Graduate Research Assistant in the Solar Energy Lab under Dr. Michael J. Wagner, his research focuses on the real-time analysis & optimization of concentrated solar power systems & thermal storage technologies. Prior to attending UW-Madison, Samuel received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kentucky. His passion for the power & energy industry drives his interest in the Energy Analysis & Policy Graduate Certificate program. As an engineer, Samuel aspires to lead projects and collaborate with innovative leaders in energy. 

Keerthana Sreenivasan

Hi, I’m Keerthana. I’m currently doing my masters in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. I grew up in Uganda, India and Tanzania which taught me to adapt and appreciate different cultures and thoughts. I am quite interested in solid waste management, but since it’s a rather slow moving field and is informed by policies, I joined the EAP certificate to get introduced to the policy side of things. My professional goal is to be an international consultant, connecting the world by interchanging knowledge and resources. My other passion is in music, as I sing and play the piano. Find me at a live music bar any weekend with a glass of wine in my hand (except when it’s COVID).

Sofia Taylor

Sofia Taylor is currently a Research-MS student in Electrical Engineering. As a graduate research assistant, she develops synthetic grid test cases using realistic renewable energy data and geo-located wildfire data. Sofia received a BS in Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Renewable Electric Energy Systems and a minor in Environmental Science from North Carolina State University in May 2020. At the FREEDM Systems Center at NC State, Sofia contributed to the development of a wireless charging system for electric vehicles and co-authored a paper on the subject, which was accepted to APEC 2020. During a semester at University College Cork in Ireland, Sofia conducted research in wave energy converter simulation. Outside of school, Sofia volunteers for All We Are, a non-profit dedicated to increasing access to solar energy at schools and medical clinics in rural Uganda.

Mingxin Zhang

Mingxin Zhang is a MPA student in La Follette School of Public Affairs, UW–Madison. Her research interest is in sustainable and clean energy. She has completed a project about the efficiency of nuclear power plants during her undergraduate studies, which intrigued her to explore more in the energy field. She looks forward to working for clean energy and zero-carbon electricity in the near future. Mingxin is a recipient of the EAP International Student Scholarship.

The EAP program is part of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, partnered with the Wisconsin Energy Institute